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Digging into Land Sector GHG Accounting under the Paris Agreement


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experts take a deep dive into the critical issues and challenges surrounding greenhouse gas accounting in the land sector.

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Digging into Land Sector GHG Accounting under the Paris Agreement

  2. 2. CONTENT • Major issues and challenges for GHG accounting in the land sector • Brief history under UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol • Land sector and NDCs, accounting under the Paris Agreement Climate Tracking and Transparency 2019 Webinar Series
  3. 3. • Join audio: – Preferred method: through Computer Audio – Back-up: choose Telephone and dial-in using the phone numbers listed in the webinar confirmation email • Attendees remain in listen-only mode • Please select “Q&A” at the bottom of your screen for any questions or comments during the webinar • Today’s presentation will be recorded and made available in 24 hours INTRODUCTION Attendee Participation If you experience technical problems during the webinar, please submit questions in the Q&A section or to Cynthia Elliott at: Climate Tracking and Transparency 2019 Webinar Series
  4. 4. INTRODUCTION Tracking and Strengthening Climate Action (TASCA) • TASCA provides governments with tools and resources to track the implementation and effects of their NDCs, and the underlying policies that support them, and strengthen climate action. • The project works in five countries to strengthen systems and capacities to track progress toward tackling climate change: Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. • In addition to work in the project countries, TASCA advances global research and organizes convenings to advance critical issues related to transparency and ambition. Climate Tracking and Transparency 2019 Webinar Series
  5. 5. • Launched in May 2010 at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue by South Africa, Republic of Korea and Germany • Aim: promoting ambitious climate action through practical exchange on enhanced transparency and, by this, contributing to achieving the global temperature goal • Formats: policy dialogue events, capacity building and peer-exchange in five regional and language groups, knowledge dissemination / Twitter @TrackingClimate INTRODUCTION Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement Climate Tracking and Transparency 2019 Webinar Series
  6. 6. Today’s Panelists (in the order of presentation): • Nancy Harris, Research Manager, Global Forest Watch/WRI • Giacomo Grassi, Senior Scientist, Joint Research Centre, European Commission • Jason Funk, Principal & Founder, Land Use & Climate Knowledge Initiative • Peter Iversen, Programme Officer/Team Lead (land Use), UNFCCC INTRODUCTION Climate Tracking and Transparency 2019 Webinar Series
  7. 7. Joint Research Centre The European Commission’s science and knowledge service MAJOR ACCOUNTING ISSUES AND CHALLENGESWITHTHE LAND SECTOR GIACOMO GRASSI ET AL. WEBINAR AT WRI, 22TH OCTOBER 2019
  8. 8. Modified from : Creating common purpose: the integration of science and policy in Canada’s Public Service, Canadian Centre for Management Development, 2002 Can you tell me where I am?We’re lost. And you must be a policymaker. I gave you an accurate answer, but you don’t understand … You are at Latitude 50 North and Longitude 4 East, at 100 m above sea level. You must be a scientist. I asked you a simple question, you gave me too complex information and I’m still lost.
  9. 9. The Global Carbon Budget (average 2007-2016 from Global Carbon Project 2017) 46% Atmosphere Forests Oceans 30% 24% 88% 12% + Fossil fuel emissions Land use change Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Energy, transport, etc. The forest sink is complex to measure and only partly anthropogenic
  10. 10. Till recently the LULUCF sector has been often seen as a secondary mitigation option by climate policy LULUCF other GHG sectors
  11. 11. Fossil fuels Forests Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage Balance removals emissions BillionstonnesCO2/year The Paris Agreement requires forest mitigation • LULUCF expected to provide 25% of countries’ planned global emission reductions by 2030 • Countries asked reduce deforestation and conserve/enhance sinks Forests are the most important CO2 sink that humans can manage • <2oC requires a balance between GHG anthropogenic emissions and removals (IPCC SR1.5)
  12. 12. Science suggests large potential for land mitigation Based on Griscom et al. 2017  Potential of 750 PgCO2 in «several decades» by restoring 1600 Mha of forests SCIENCE
  13. 13. What is still missing ?
  14. 14. ≈ 4-5 GtCO2/y gap WHYsuch big GAP? 1. Can we trust country land GHG estimates? How to they compare globally with scientific estimates ?
  15. 15. This sink in anthropogenic No, that’s natural Different approaches to what is “anthropogenic forest sink” GHG inventories include more “managed” area and the impact of “environmental change” such as CO2 fertilization, etc. (Grassi et al. 2018) For tracking countries’ progress toward the Paris’ targets, this difference needs to be reconciled.
  16. 16. The Paris Agreement calls for economy-wide climate targets  fungibility across sectors requires comparability. The “accounting” of emissions toward the climate target should reflect real deviations from past activities  challenging for forests, due to the impact of age-related dynamics. 2. Ensuring a credible accounting of forest mitigation actions Credits Debits CO2Sink Dashed black line = Projected FRL Red-green dashed line = Actual performance Time Projected Forest Reference Level:
  17. 17. 3. Identify barriers, synergies and trade-offs to address multiple challenges. IPCC SR CCL: Many low and medium cost effective strategies based on sustainable land management available to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, land degradation, and food Insecurity
  18. 18. Conclusions Science has no doubts: we can’t achieve the Paris goals without land mitigation. Some step still needed: 1. More confidence in country GHG estimates (and comparability with IPCC) 2. Ensuring a credible accounting of forest mitigation actions. 3. Identify synergies and trade-offs of land mitigation feasibility, not only potential. The land sector has the opportunity and the responsibility to deliver. Now, it’s time for action
  19. 19. Thank you!
  20. 20. A BRIEF HISTORY OF GREENHOUSE GAS ACCOUNTING FOR THE LAND SECTOR: HOW DID WE GET HERE? Jason Funk Principal & Founder Land Use & Climate Knowledge Initiative
  21. 21. Policy in force: KP commitment period 1 The Hague Policy agreement: The Framework Convention 1990 1992 1997 2005 Reference point: 1990 emissions Policy agreement: The Kyoto Protocol IPCC guidance: 1996 Good Practice Guidance 2001 Accounting rules for LULUCF: Marrakech Accords 2008 First mentions of avoided deforestation mechanism (REDD+) Bali Action Plan IPCC guidance: 2006 Guidelines IPCC guidance: 2003 GPG for LULUCF
  22. 22. Copenhagen 1990 2008 2013 2020 Policy agreement: Durban (CP2) Reference point: 1990 emissions Policy agreement: The Paris Agreement Policy in force: KP commitment period 1 Policy in force: KP commitment period 2 2015 Cancun Safeguards (REDD+) Policy in force: Paris Agreement Article 5.2 of Paris Agreement Warsaw Framework for REDD+ IPCC guidance: 2013 KP and Wetlands supplements IPCC guidance: 2019 Refinement 2011
  23. 23. Thank you! Jason Funk
  24. 24. Land sector accounting and reporting under the Paris Agreement Peter Iversen, UNFCCC
  25. 25. Introduction Content and the use of terms • Land sector is not defined in the Paris Agreement or in any of the subsequent decisions Here I refer to Agriculture and Land use, land –use change and forestry (LULUCF). This is also how countries will be reporting in their greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories under the Paris Agreement. • Since agriculture historically has been treated like any other sector such as the energy sector, the focus will be on LULUCF.
  26. 26. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) • NDCs are the foundation of the Paris Agreement. This is how the long-term temperature goals set out in art. 2 (stay below 2 degrees aiming for 1.5 degrees) should be achieved. • More than 75 percent of all NDCs contain reference to land use. Some NDCs with a LULUCF component implicitly included as part of an economy-wide emission reduction target and some with a specific sector target such as X ha of forest by 2030 or increase in forest carbon stocks, some mention implementation of REDD+ etc.. • NDCs that are submitted are diverse in nature, but in accordance with the Paris Agreement, all Parties will move over time towards economy-wide emission reduction targets. • With such diversity transparency becomes critical for assessing progress including for providing input to the Global Stocktake but also to build trust and confidence and promote effective implementation of mitigation efforts.
  27. 27. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) • Principles a) Parties are requested to account for their NDCs in a way that promotes environmental integrity, transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency, and ensures the avoidance of double counting. • But accounting is essentially nationally determined and due to the bottom-up approach of NDCs and the largely non- prescriptive nature of rules for accounting, countries can use different definitions, accounting approaches and methodologies for the determination of the contribution of LULUCF to their NDCs. • Parties are requested to communicate by 2020 a new NDC (for NDCs with a timeframe to 2025) or an updated NDC (for NDCs with a timeframe to 2030) and to do so every five years thereafter.
  28. 28. Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) • In Paris, the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) was established to build mutual trust and confidence and to promote effective implementation, and enhanced transparency framework for action and support • In Katowice (COP24) Parties agreed on the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) for the transparency framework for action and support • This include overarching principles highlight the importance of improving over time, and include flexibility provisions for Parties that need it in the light of their capacities. • Parties also agreed the content of the biennial transparency report (BTR), that contain a: a) National inventory report with the GHG inventory b) Information necessary to track progress in implementing and achieving NDC under art. 4
  29. 29. Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) • For the national inventory report of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases Parties agreed to: a) use the 2006 IPCC Guidelines and the 100-year time-horizon global warming potential values from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report b) report the following sectors: energy, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, LULUCF and waste, according to the IPCC guidelines c) in the case of a Party addressing the emissions and subsequent removals from natural disturbances on managed lands in its national GHG inventory, that Party shall report information on the approach taken, and how it is consistent with IPCC guidance, as appropriate, and shall indicate if the estimates are indicated in national totals. d) in the case of a Party using an approach to reporting emissions and removals from harvested wood products in accordance with IPCC guidance other than the production approach, that Party shall also provide supplementary information on emissions and removals from harvested wood products estimated using the production approach.
  30. 30. Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), accounting information • Each country shall provide a description of its NDC under Article 4, against which progress will be tracked. • This includes scope and coverage, including, as relevant, sectors, categories, activities, sources and sinks, pools and gases; • Countries shall identify indicator(s) that it has selected to track progress and provide information for each selected indicator. • Strive to include all categories of anthropogenic emissions and removals in their NDC, and, once a source, sink or activity is included, continue to include it.
  31. 31. Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), accounting information specific for LULUCF • Provide a description of each methodology and/or accounting approach used, including: • Where applicable to its NDC, any sector-, category- or activity-specific assumptions, methodologies and approaches consistent with IPCC guidance, taking into account any relevant decision under the Convention, including as applicable: (i) The approach used to address emissions and subsequent removals from natural disturbances on managed lands; (ii) The approach used to account for emissions and removals from harvested wood products; (iii) The approach used to address the effects of age-class structure in forests.
  32. 32. On-going work • COP25 a) make Article 6 of the Paris Agreement operational • COP26 a) develop common reporting tables for the electronic reporting; b) develop outlines of the biennial transparency report, national inventory document and technical expert review report.
  33. 33. Concluding remarks • The use of a biennial transparency report by all Parties, common reporting tables, 2006 IPCC Guidelines with the six land-use categories and subcategories and the use of the same global warming potential will greatly improve transparency and comparability between Parties and facilitate the aggregation of estimates. • The diversity of NDCs will be a challenge for the technical expert review teams and the aggregation of results, e.g. for the global stocktake, could also be challenging. • While countries can have good reasons for using activity-based accounting (REDD+ is activity-based but in some cases countries have aligned it with the IPCC land use categories), there could potentially be some benefits if countries decide to use accounting approaches following the same land-based approach they use when compiling their GHG inventory for the BTR.
  34. 34. Any Questions? Climate Tracking and Transparency 2019 Webinar Series
  35. 35. THANK YOU! CLIMATE TRACKING AND TRANSPARENCY 2019 WEBINAR SERIES This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. For more on the webinar series, contact: Beth Elliott, WRI (
  36. 36. I weight 12o kg I weight 8o kg I will slim 10 kg I will slim 20 kg Max weight allowed is 150 kg you have to slim! 170 kg .. not enough! GHG inventories Countries’ climate pledges
  37. 37. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 EUforestincrementandharvest,Mm3/yr = increment (growth) = harvest New science-based approach to Forest Reference Levels (FRL) in the EU New policies to increase harvest  if included in the FRL, a human-induced decrease in the sink would not be accounted EU FRL: continuation of historical forest management combined to age-related dynamics  accounting will reflect the true impact of deviations from past forest activities, like other sectors C SINK (biomass)